August 2013October 2013 


6 posts from September 2013

Sep 28 2013
Hugging It Out: Steve Grand Takes Manhattan Comments (0)
  Steve-Grand IMG_3490 copy
Steve-Grand IMG_3379 copy
Steve-Grand IMG_3469 copy
Steve-Grand IMG_3486 copy
Steve-Grand IMG_3502 copy
Steve-Grand IMG_3568 copy
Steve-Grand IMG_3653 copy Steve-Grand IMG_3662 copy
Steve-Grand IMG_3860 copy

My Friday night was dominated by Steve Grand, who had a gig at XL followed by an appearance at a fundraiser for Bailey House at the Lexington. Yes, the Chicago boy has been in NYC this week, and these were his first appearances I was able to catch. (He sold out shows at Subculture as well, where he interrupted one song for a pee break, and bartended for Andy Cohen...and he's not even a ginger!)


Steve-Grand-StayXL did a good job converting itself into a cabaret space, with tables covering the dance floor and a keyboard for Steve center stage. A sport-jacketed Steve came out on time and energetically worked his way through original songs (including singles "All-American Boy" and "Stay," the latter of which I think is superior to the former, and unreleased works "Whiskey", "Good-Bye to Your Man" and "Loving Again") and covers of songs by Lady Gaga, The Beatles and Elton John.

Steve-Grand IMG_3255 copyCute is not what he aims for, yet he hits it every time.

I had been asked not to video anything, so I don't have my usual HD video of every word out of the performer's mouth. But every single other person in the place had a cellphone up, so check YouTube.

Steve-Grand IMG_3263 copyI love this Liberace/Van Cliburn keyboard-tickling pose.

Steve was in excellent voice. He seems to sound better every time he hits a stage. He's also an ingratiating performer, one who frequently reminds his audience that he would like to hug us, and then proceeds to do so with his smile, his warm vocals and his open-armed gestures that punctuate nearly every song.

 Read More

Sep 27 2013
Closer To Cher: Inside Cher's CLOSER TO THE TRUTH Release Party Comments (0)
  CherDSC08942 copy
Cher DSC08910 copy
Cher DSC08908 copy
Cher DSC08943 copy
Cher DSC08960 copy
Cher DSC08974 copy
Cher DSC08976 copy
Cher DSC08996
Perez Hilton DSC08898

What a week—first Madonna, now Cher. It's like a more homosexual version of homosexuality. And yes, I met 'er.

CherAbove: Cher's invite. Below, Madonna's from 1992. Not crying copycat, just loved the similar vibe.


We arrived at Tao on W. 16th just past 7PM for a Closer to the Truth album-release party advertised as running from 7 to 9. I'd heard in advance not to arrive after 7:30, so assumed it would be an early night. It was, even though Cher was at a big Warner Bros. meeting before the festivities so was fashionably late.

Cher DSC08889
Cher DSC08893
Matthew Rettenmund DSC08891
Matthew Rettenmund Denis Ferrara DSC08888The scene before the party, including me with writer extraordinaire Denis Ferrara.

The space wasn't overcrowded and the décor reminded me of how I'd imagine Cher's own living room to look. Great food (which I a man) and free booze, too.

Cher DSC08967 copy
Cher DSC08970 copyWHAT A DRAG!: Three of my favorite shots.

At one point, an amazing (male) Cher impersonator entered, setting off 1,000s of flashes before we realized it was not she. The real Cher surprised us all by entering via  a side door, leading to an avalanche of graying fans in and out of the media.

 Read More

Sep 25 2013
You Say You Want A Revolution: Inside Madonna's secretprojectrevolution Party Comments (0)
Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.40.21 AM

Gallery from the party above, plus tons more photos of Madonna & others below.

A few hours ago, I was lucky enough to attend the launch party for Madonna's secretprojectrevolution, a 17-minute short film made in conjunction with Steven Klein that's meant to address discrimination and injustice in the world.


I arrived around 9 for the event, then had to kill time until 10 before the doors opened. The e-mail containting the invite had stressed promptness, warning we may not get in if we arrived past 10:45. But too early was no good either. How would everyone get into the Gagosian Gallery between 10 and 10: 45? Turns out the guest list was just that small, maybe 250 people.

 Read More

Sep 18 2013
Together In ELECTRIC Dreams: A Review Of Pet Shop Boys @ The Beacon Comments (0)

Last night was the Pet Shop Boys' latest concert, in promotion of their mostly brill new album, Electric. Like the title of their latest work, the evening was coursing with dangerous currents, both pleasurable and potentially dangerous.

Sparks flew.

Neil-TennantNeil, before me.

I had sprung for the $95 meet-and-greet, buying it so long ago I almost forgot I had it. Met my good buddy Luigi—whom I'd met four years ago at the last PSB concert I attended when I photographed him in the front row!—beforehand, getting our laminates together. WTF is up with them demanding that VIPs arrive by 4:30PM on a weekday? We are spendthrifts, but we do have dayjobs, Boys.

Anyway, we killed an hour eating before returning for the actual meet-and-greet. They had about 150 (!) fans to meet, but it was handled quite well. We filed into a side door of the venue (the Beacon) and were surprised by Neil and Chris standing just inside the entrance. Most shocking, Chris looked fantastic (having recovered from looking quite ravaged a few years ago) and was smiley and chatty. It's like hearing Teller talk.

 Read More

Sep 09 2013
Raising The Bar: James Franco & Travis Mathews Present INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR. Comments (0)

JAMES-FRANC0-Interior-Leather-BarA rare appearance of the whites of Franco's eyes.

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: *** out of ****

Last night was the NYC NewFest premiere of the James Franco/Travis Mathews (I Want Your Love) unusual ficto-documentary Interior. Leather Bar. I had thought the film would be a recreation of the infamous 40 minutes that director William Friedkin had to lose from his controversial 1980 Al Pacino movie Cruising in order to avoid an X rating, but as Mathews promised in a pre-screening speech, Interior. Leather Bar. wasn't about what I expected.

Interior-leather-barThe film wound up being much more in its own head than simply being an artistic re-creation. Rather than being about the re-creation of those scenes (which are suggested with only a few minutes' worth of shots), this work was much more about what happens when superstar James Franco decides to make a movie in which actual gay sex occurs. Interior. Leather Bar. takes pains to show the negotiations with actors—in particular with lead actor Val Lauren/Al Pacino doppelganger (Sal), who was reluctant to take part in a film that promised to feature real sex. Far more interesting than the too-stylish imagining of what those X-rated scenes would have looked like are scenes featuring actors, some amateurs, speaking amongst themselves about real sex as artistic expression, what they themselves divined the movie itself would be "about" and what they were willing to do.

 Read More

Sep 01 2013
Nice Twerk If You Can Get It: A Trip To The Notorious Adonis Lounge Comments (0)

Sex-male-stripper-iStock_000010758965Large-600x400One-dollar bills to Adonis dancers are like pennies to waiters...don't even bother.

Last night, I did something out of the ordinary—I went with a friend to the Adonis Lounge, which along with 20/20 is one of NYC's only male strip clubs. (How I lived here while the Gaiety existed and yet never went is beyond me.) I'd heard it was "hot," but wasn't sure what to expect.

Evolve-Adonis-LoungeWhat I didn't expect was a very small bar (called "Evolve") with a very small "stage" on which performers gyrate distractedly while patrons are solicited for backroom lapdances. We turned to each other upon entering and after having immediately assessed the situation, thinking we might leave.

Glad we stayed. It was quite interesting and sleazily fun.

Wallflowers, we sat against one mirrored wall opposite the bar, where we could barely see the stage. No matter, a compact, hirsute performer in skintight briefs pounced on us. "First time here? Here's how it works..." The backroom lapdances are extremely free-spirited—hands can go inside underwear (some of the boys are in jockstraps for easier access) but not on boners. No kissing. Otherwise, it's the Frottage Mahal. Then there is the private or "Champagne Room," where for a hundred bucks you get to decide with your performer what the rules are. "I recommend you stay on the safe side," our volunteer guide offered. Good tip!


The next guy to approach us was a blocky blond with an all-American look and spiked hair. He had much of the same advice, but let us know that he felt the private room wasn't a good value since it wasn't private nor was it a room...the lapdances are performed on a series of bedbug-friendly couches, and the private room is just a couple of the same couches in the same room hastily curtained off by a sort of sheet. In theory, your feet could be sticking out from under the sheet while a dancer...dances...on you, all a few inches away from happy-lapped fellow patrons.

 Read More